Olympus C-55 Zoom
- Very good pictures, comfortable to hold, generous set of features
- Erratic focus, flash is not automated, shutter lag
Lots of manual controls and great image quality are offset by the C-55's sluggish response time.
Price$ 549.00 (AUD)
While putting the boxy and hefty Olympus C-55 Zoom through its paces, I found much to like about its design. The sizable grip feels comfortable, and the positioning of the buttons and camera navigation wheel allowed me to use the camera one-handed without difficulty. The 2" LCD screen displayed vivid, crisp images, and a button to the right of the screen provided a quick means to play back images.
Much of this camera's appeal lies in its wide array of features, many of which are rare in a point-and-shoot camera in this price range. You get 10 scene modes--including sport and candle--plus auto and program modes, and shutter priority, aperture priority and manual modes for greater control over the image. You can even customise the camera by creating your own shooting preferences as a setting, and by creating shortcuts to often-used options within the menu system.
The C-55's outstanding image quality is another strength. In our tests, the camera rendered sharp images with balanced colour and exposure. The camera's four AA alkaline batteries lasted for 261 shots, which is about average.
Unfortunately, many aspects of the camera disappointed us. Although the camera prompts you when a flash is appropriate, it doesn't pop up the flash automatically. The button to activate the flash is bulky and, like the flash itself, feels poorly constructed.
The camera's erratic focusing mechanism was another source of frustration. When in focus, images appeared crisp and clear. But the camera made it too easy to take out-of-focus shots--surprising, given that Olympus bills the lens as its SportZoom. Even if you're not shooting action, you may want to use the continuous burst mode to mitigate this problem.
The camera's autofocus often took a long time to lock onto the action, causing a lag in the shutter response (the time between when you try to take the picture to when the camera completes the shot). This tendency was especially evident in settings with low to moderate light.
The C-55 menu system's setup takes some getting used to, and you may need to consult the advanced manual on the CD-ROM for an explanation of some features and icons. You'll certainly want to consult the manual for a detailed explanation of the image quality settings. The SHQ, HQ, SQ1, and SQ2 options each give you different resolution choices, but the approach is more confusing and convoluted than it needs to be.
The display shows a slew of settings, so you don't have to switch between screens or wonder what settings the camera is on; at a glance, you can see the ISO, shutter speed, f-stop, and resolution. Oddly, nowhere on the screen do you get a countdown of how many images your xD-Picture Card still has room for.
With a 5X optical zoom that offers the equivalent of a 38mm to 190mm lens (a generous reach for a camera in this class), a movie mode with image stabilisation, and an impressive number of manual controls, the C-55 does little to box you in creatively. But its poky response time might leave you dissatisfied.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Boom: SanDisk just dropped the world's largest SD card
- Camera app makers tap into RAW power with iOS, and look forward to dual lenses
- Google Camera 3.2 lets you snap pictures while recording video
- CES 2016: Top 10 trends
- Sony α7S II aimed film-makers and low light photographers
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- The top 10 best and worst tech gadgets and products of 2016
- Best phone of the year 2016
- TV of the year award 2016
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTAutomation Test Analyst - APS 6 non-ongoingACT
- FTTechnical Services EngineerNSW
- FTChange AnalystVIC
- FTiOS DeveloperNSW
- TPFunctional Business AnalystQLD
- CCNetwork Systems Engineer l Application Support l Linux l Port MacquarieNSW
- CCSenior Project Manager - Financial Planning - Contract - Sydney CBDNSW
- FTTechnical Account ManagerACT
- CCSenior PMO Analyst - ReportingNSW
- FTCloud Orchestration SpecialistVIC
- TPChange ManagerNSW
- FTSoftware Support SpecialistQLD
- TPInfrastructure ArchitectVIC
- CCSystems EngineerQLD
- CCIT Risk Specialist (Assurance) - TelcoVIC
- FTTechnology Testing Co-ordinatorVIC
- FTPHP DeveloperQLD
- FTRegional Sales Manager - Telco/ICT - Employer of choiceQLD
- CCMultiple Infrastructure ArchitectsWA
- FTLevel 3 EngineerNSW
- CCNetwork EngineerACT
- CCNetwork Design EngineerACT
- CCJava Developer/ Guidewire Developers - Brisbane basedVIC
- TPProject Technical LeadQLD
- FTFunctional ConsultantNSW